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Dahlia LithwickO'Connor is most compelling in the essays that shed light on the sorts of influences that affect her as a judge: how her experiences as a state legislator in Arizona have informed her feelings about states' rights or how her inability to get anything other than a legal secretary's job despite excellent grades at Stanford Law School colors her view of discrimination cases. While she acknowledges that her role is limited to interpreting the law, her essay on Thurgood Marshall is one of the most telling chapters of the book. Here she admits to being moved by his storytelling and profoundly influenced by his struggles with racism and his compassion for the downtrodden. This quality in O'Connor -- a willingness to look beyond black-letter law and express sympathy for the weak -- is something one sometimes witnesses at oral argument.
— The Washington Post